Inspired Gardens: Growing A Thyme Lawn

From mid-May to mid-June the Thyme is in full bloom. One of the biggest benefits of a Thyme lawn is that it is low-maintenance.From mid-May to mid-June the Thyme is in full bloom. One of the biggest benefits of a Thyme lawn is that it is low-maintenance.
From mid-May to mid-June the Thyme is in full bloom. One of the biggest benefits of a Thyme lawn is that it is low-maintenance.

Tips For How To Grow A Thyme Lawn From Gardeners In Albuquerque, NM

When Vic and Barb Bruno built their new home in the year 2000 they were city dwellers, used to a small lot with a “watersucking” lawn and plants. The biggest challenge they faced when landscaping their new home in a semi-rural area just outside the city limits was that the lot was subject to water restrictions and shared a common well with three other homes. Water-thrifty landscaping was a priority.

Thyme Lawn: A Drought-Resistant (Xeric) Choice

Bruno, whose work includes commercial property management, did a lot of research before selecting his Pink Chintz Thyme lawn. “I would get on the Internet and research which plants are xeric. I came across High County Gardens website and got your catalog. It did a wonderful job of telling mature plant size, how much water it would need, and whether it would repel deer and rabbits, the latter of which we had a ton of.”

Bruno visited High Country Gardens’ bricks and mortar store, Santa Fe Greenhouses (no longer in business) to see what offerings they had. “I still wanted some color and a thyme lawn was suggested. They said Pink Chintz Thyme would work if I didn’t expect to walk on it very much,” said Bruno.

The greenhouse staff advised the Thyme be planted 12-18” on center and thought it would fill in about six months. In reality, it took closer to two years. Vic Bruno believes it took so long because the soil is quite poor (clay loam) and it would have filled in more quickly if they had done a better job amending the soil.

“There was section of the front yard where the ground level was about four feet below the slab so there was almost no yard,” explained Bruno. “We imported clean soil from a construction site. I improved that with just some peat moss and fertilizer mix."

After the second season Bruno began to add a compost mix and the Thyme plugs started to spread out and flower. “In the initial form we’d have the clumps growing, it was a little bumpy at first. It flowered in the valleys, not at the top of the clump,” said Bruno. When it all filled in to the same level, it flowered everywhere. It eventually thickened enough to be a carpet-like mat of color.

“We have a large lot and have a lot of landscaping,” said Vic Bruno. “It required that we have low water use landscaping, with a preference toward xeric plants.”

The Thyme lawn eventually thickened enough to be a carpet-like mat of color.The Thyme lawn eventually thickened enough to be a carpet-like mat of color.
The Thyme lawn eventually thickened enough to be a carpet-like mat of color.
Other xeric plants in the Bruno's garden include Lavender, Yarrow, Catmint, Potentilla, Caryopteris, Rosemary, and Rabbitbrush (Chamisa).Other xeric plants in the Bruno's garden include Lavender, Yarrow, Catmint, Potentilla, Caryopteris, Rosemary, and Rabbitbrush (Chamisa).
Other xeric plants in the Bruno's garden include Lavender, Yarrow, Catmint, Potentilla, Caryopteris, Rosemary, and Rabbitbrush (Chamisa).

Advice For Establishing A Thyme Lawn

Bruno has some advice to those wanting to plant a Thyme lawn. “I’d make sure to plant them no more than 12” on center, which might mean a few more plugs,” he said. “I’d also suggest people do a soil analysis to see what the PH is, so you have a balanced soil without too much clay and sand. I think it prefers a faster draining soil than what we have.”

One of the biggest advantages of the Thyme lawn has been its resilience. “I’ve had people say that it might get woody, but I haven’t seen that,” said Bruno. “We had people tell us that it would die out, but here we are 16 years later.”

Shop Thyme | Thymus

  1. Photo Courtesy of PlantMaster.com

    Thymus Reiter (Reiter Creeping Thyme) is one of the most vigorous creeping thymes with its stems of olive-green foliage rooting as they spread across the soil. Blooming in mid-summer...

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    Reiter Creeping Thyme Reiter Creeping Thyme Thymus Reiter
    As low as $7.99 Sale $7.59
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    Thymus Reiter (Reiter Creeping Thyme) is one of the most vigorous creeping thymes with its stems of olive-green foliage rooting as they spread across the soil. Blooming in mid-summer with prolific lavender-pink flowers, it makes an excellent small-scale lawn substitute. Drought resistant/drought tolerant perennial plant (xeric).
    Learn More
  2. Fredo Garden Thyme, Thymus vulgaris 'Fredo'

    Fredo Garden Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) offers traditional thyme flavor, scent, and summer flowering in a compact form. A wonderful dwarf English thyme for your herb gardens, rock garde...

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    Fredo Garden Thyme Fredo Garden Thyme Thymus vulgaris Fredo
    Sale Price I Save 10%
    $7.99 Sale $7.19
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    Fredo Garden Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) offers traditional thyme flavor, scent, and summer flowering in a compact form. A wonderful dwarf English thyme for your herb gardens, rock gardens, or terracotta pots, with strong upright stems make harvesting leaves easy. The scent of ‘Fredo’ makes it highly deer resistant. Plant plenty for culinary use, and let flowers grow in summer to attract pollinators.
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  3. Pink Thymus praecox ssp. arcticus Coccineus, Thymus praecox ssp. arcticus Coccineus, Pink Creeping Thyme

    Pink Creeping Thyme is an outstanding selection with glossy, dark green leaves covered with light pink flowers pushing form rose-pink buds in early summer. This variety is impressive...

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    Pink Creeping Thyme Pink Creeping Thyme Thymus praecox ssp. arcticus Coccineus
    As low as $7.99 Sale $7.59
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    Pink Creeping Thyme is an outstanding selection with glossy, dark green leaves covered with light pink flowers pushing form rose-pink buds in early summer. This variety is impressively xeric, with tough woody stems. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
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  4. Vic Bruno's Albuquerque Thyme Lawn

    1" tall x 18" wide. Pink Chintz Thyme (Thymus Pink Chintz) is a tight, low growing creeping thyme with thick stems of woolly green foliage that blooms in mid-spring with a profusion ...

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    Pink Chintz Creeping Thyme Pink Chintz Creeping Thyme Thymus serpyllum Pink Chintz
    As low as $7.99 Sale $7.59
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    1" tall x 18" wide. Pink Chintz Thyme (Thymus Pink Chintz) is a tight, low growing creeping thyme with thick stems of woolly green foliage that blooms in mid-spring with a profusion of salmon-pink flowers.
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By Wendy Hatoum, Marketing Brand Manager, High Country Gardens

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